The Manipulation Argument, At the Very Least, Undermines Classical Compatibilism

Philosophia 43 (2):291-307 (2015)
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Abstract

The compatibility of determinism and the ability to do otherwise has been implicitly assumed by many to be irrelevant to the viability of compatibilist responses to the manipulation argument for incompatibilism. I argue that this assumption is mistaken. The manipulation argument may be unsound. But even so, the manipulation argument, at the very least, undermines classical compatibilism, the view that free will requires the ability to do otherwise, and having that ability is compatible with determinism. This is because classical compatibilism, in conjunction with any type of reply to the manipulation argument, has counterintuitive implications. In order to avoid such implications, we need not hold that determinism is incompatible with moral responsibility. But we must hold that determinism is incompatible with the ability to do otherwise.

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Yishai Cohen
University of Southern Maine

Citations of this work

Manipulation Arguments and the Freedom to do Otherwise.Patrick Todd - 2017 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 95 (2):395-407.
Manipulation Arguments and Libertarian Accounts of Free Will.Taylor W. Cyr - 2020 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 6 (1):57-73.
Deliberating in the presence of manipulation.Yishai Cohen - 2018 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 48 (1):85-105.

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References found in this work

Responsibility and Control: A Theory of Moral Responsibility.John Martin Fischer & Mark Ravizza - 1998 - New York: Cambridge University Press. Edited by Mark Ravizza.
Free Will, Agency, and Meaning in Life.Derk Pereboom - 2014 - New York: Oxford University Press.
Freedom of the will and the concept of a person.Harry G. Frankfurt - 1971 - Journal of Philosophy 68 (1):5-20.
An Essay on Free Will.Peter Van Inwagen - 1983 - New York: Oxford University Press.
Responsibility and the Moral Sentiments.R. Jay Wallace - 1994 - Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.

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